The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Back on Track

One more day like yesterday and I will...well, I guess I will miss another day of blogging. but school is pretty much a priority these days, and biostatistics...

There are in fact two things: science and opinion. One begats knowledge, the latter ignorance.
- Hippocrates

I wonder where I fall in there, since I often write opinions about science. Hmmm.

Barack Obama was critical during Monday's debate of Hillary Clinton for sitting on the board of directors of Walmart back when the company really did sell products "Made in America" and before Walmart came under fire for things like mis-treating employees and mis-labeling food as being organic when it is not.

Of course he didn't bring up that his wife Michelle resigned less than a year ago from the board of directors of Treehouse Foods, Inc., whose largest customer is Walmart which accounts for over 16% of its sales. She resigned immediately after Senator Obama made a speech critical of Walmart and its anti-union policies. I guess she felt the heat since Treehouse doesn't have the best reputation regarding pickle plants and low paid Hispanic workers.

But in defense of both women, maybe sitting on the board of a corporation is one way to bring positive change to a company. I mean, blaming directors is not unlike faulting progressive democrats in congress who can't get legislation passed because of the neocons in power, which was especially the case before the 2006 elections.

I guess that the Romney campaign is desperate to show some humor, so that their candidate can be proven not to be robot, but does this do it? Here son Matt Romeny plays a little jokle on his dad.

Are you laughing? Will candiate Mitt be laughing after the Republican primary in Florida where recent polls show him neck in neck with John McCain? (Leaving poor Rudy out)

In today's Birmingham News is a political cartoon by Walt Handelsman of Newsday.

But I wonder...somewhere between the Hillary Haters and the Independents and Moderates, should there be a cut of racists? Or are they distributed throughout all the divisions of the party? Regardless, we have heard for years about the differing factions of the democratic party, gays here, African Americans there, Hollywood liberals way over there, northern elitists running the party, progressive evangelicals not being heard, working class being our ass, uh, donkey could be cut up in a similar manner. But when it comes down to it, all indications are that in spite of the expected bickering between candidates, after the convention the Democrats and progressive independents and moderate republicans will come together to support whoever the Democratic candidate is.

There is an interesting story in the New Yorker that starts out:

Who, speaking last week, made the following statement: "Enough is enough. More people need to be willing to step up and say, 'Let's do something about this.' That's how change will be made."

Think you know the answer? Wrong, It wasn't Barack or Hillary. It was April White, a massage therapist from Clermont Florida who in 2003 purchased a set of 800 count sheets from Bed Bath and Beyond in Birmingham, AL, and making a long story short, had them examined by a forensic textile lab (who knew?) only to find they "were, in facts, mere 408s."

To make a longer story even shorter, if the judge approves, April will recieve $2500, and her attorneys $290,000. In addition, " all purchasers between August 1, 2000 and November 9, 2007 of multi-ply sheet sets, pillowcases, down comforters, bedskirts, shams, duvets, and down pillows from Bed Bath and Beyond that were labelled as 'plied,' 'two-ply,' or '2-ply' " are eligible for refunds and discount certificates.

While $2500 seems like enough to compensate someone for having to sleep on scratchy sheets for a day or two, a quarter of a million dollars for attorney's fees seems a little steep. A good chunk of that money should have gone to buy sheets or blankets for the poor, and I'm sure they wouldn't have demanded 800 count linens. Such a donation would be the philanthropic thing to do.

And do we really have to keep every little receipt for everything we buy, just in case a class action lawsuit is brought up a few years later?


Anonymous said...

In regards to the comment about racism in the Republican party:

Last November I visited my family for the big feast. This is a mostly Republican group with a small scattering of Democrats (including myself). In this group we had two homosexuals, one African-American, and three people of a mixed race. The only negative looks (exaggerated rolled eyes aimed at one of the homosexuals) came from a guy with John Kerry and union stickers on his truck.

At another family gathering (made up of wholly Evangelical, right-wing republicans) we had a man from Vietnam with his white wife and their half dozen kids. No cross words were said and no looks made at them.

That same week I heard a very liberal, homosexual acquaintance make several very racist comments aimed at African-Americans. Also, just two days ago another Democratic (Edwards supporter)acquaintance made a racial slur in reference to the wait staff at a local restaurant.

I hear more racist statements coming from Democrats nowadays that Republicans (not that I haven't heard them in the past). So to label all elements of the Republican party as racist is a very bigoted thing to say.

Racism crosses all political parties and is a very damaging thing. It is not something to be used in another us vs. them debate to try to bolster the moral superiority of one the of parties.

Joe said...

I admit I paint the republicans with a broad brush and that racism exists among democrats. But the republican party does not address issues of importance to blacks in their debates, rather they tend to hurt insults at Hispanics (as well as gays). In addition, how many debates have the republicans held at historically black colleges or sponsored by black groups?

And please don't bring up Mike Huckabee's endorsements by black pastors as an embracement of republican values by the African American community.

Anonymous said...

What about Mike Huckabee's endorsements by black pastors....just kidding. Not a real fan of Huckabee or any of the Republican candidates, or the Democratic candidates for that matter. And I will agree wholeheartedly that the Republican candidates fail to address black groups directly and that is, I think, the main reason that they will fail to garner a large percentage of the black vote. It makes them look like they don't care about the opinion of the black voter.

Republicans nowadays are indeed afraid to speak to black groups directly. I think they realize that there is a lot of animosity towards Republicans from that audience (ex: Mike Epps, a black comedian, recently said on a T.V. special that Republicans should do everyone a favor and kill themselves. The crowd went wild.) and therefore they think that they will not get a fair shake from that crowd and can not come out of that event with any benefit. Of course you could view it as they are scared to own up to honest criticism from a black audience. Until the candidates actually come out and state why they are so reluctant to do such engagements it just us guessing but it does come across as them not really caring.

On the flip side I see Democrats doing a lot of talking to various minority crowds but failing to actually take any action (doing a lot of debating is not action but just more talking). I know several people in both the black and Hispanic communities that crossed over and voted straight Republican in '04 because they felt pandered to rather than listened to by the Democratic candidates.

Both parties have moments in their history in which they can be proud in regards to race relations, but both have even more moments in which they should be ashamed of.